Page 83 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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out of it constantly. Have you experienced that difficulty in the “Mauretania”? - Not any difficulty in the “Mauretania,” no. I will go back for a moment to the new design on the “Aquitania.” The Commissioner: Who was it suggested that it was difficult to keep the hatchways watertight by reason of having to open them? Mr. Raymond Asquith: I understood Mr. Wilding suggested that. 21167. (The Commissioner.) Did you suggest that, Mr. Wilding? Mr. Wilding: I suggested that it was difficult to keep the deck watertight because it is difficult to keep the hatch cover which covers the hole watertight when cargo is worked through. 21168. (The Commissioner.) When cargo is being worked? Mr. Wilding: No, but when cargo is being worked through it. The hatchway flaps gets knocked about and abused, and it is very difficult to keep it watertight after that. We have had some experience with small covers of that sort. 21169. (The Commissioner - To the Witness.) What do you say to that? - The “Mauretania” and “Lusitania” carry nothing but very light parcels, and all mail boats are similar in that respect, so that there is practically no damage to the hatchway. 21170. Does that mean that if she were carrying heavy goods the difficulty which Mr. Wilding suggests might arise? - It might arise with some construction, but I have known ships where there is no difficulty arising from that. 21171. Who is to decide between you and Mr. Wilding? Are you making any changes in your new ships in respect to watertight hatchways? - The general details of the watertight hatches have not yet been worked out. 21172. But do you propose to make any change? - No, I think not. It may be we may do it in a different way altogether. 21173. You are not considering any change? - No, at present we are not considering any change. 21174. (Mr. Raymond Asquith.) When were these ships built, the “Mauretania” and the “Lusitania”? - They have been out about five years. 21175. They have been on trial for five years? - They have been out about five years. 21176. You were telling us when I think I interrupted you with another question, that in your view the danger which has been spoken of, of capsizing owing to water getting in above the watertight deck, could be sufficiently met? - I think so. 21177. Is that your view? - That is my view, yes. 21178. And are you making arrangements in the “Aquitania” with that object? - Yes. 21179. The arrangements I think you said were in the nature of a transverse subdivision? - Transverse and longitudinal. Of course, the points are in favour of transverse subdivision just as much as they are in favour of these - that is, for ordinary ships; but for large ships I would advocate this, from the point of strength of construction, for docking, and for general protection. 21180. I am speaking now of the level above the watertight deck. Are there both transverse and longitudinal divisions in the new designs you speak of? - Oh, yes. 21181. Above the level of the continuous watertight deck? - Yes. I might also add that the new German ships are being built upon the same system. 21182. (The Commissioner.) Will you speak up. I do not hear you? - The new German ships are also being built on the same system as the “Mauretania” and “Lusitania.” 21183. (Mr. Raymond Asquith.) Have you ever considered the other suggestion that there should be a continuous watertight deck higher up still in the ship? - We have not considered that yet, no. 21184. Do you agree with Mr. Wilding’s view that that would be commercially unworkable? - Well, it would be difficult. To do that you would need to take the bulkheads right to the top and
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